Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chinese grape wine


Recommended Posts

I like a nice glass of wine, especially on a Friday night after work. I had a look at some bottles available in my local area, and found the imported wine section to be sickly and overpriced. Basically, bottles of Blue Nun going for around the equivalent of $20. I have no intention of swearing off wine, so I'm considering purchasing something local - there seems to be a large selection of domestic, European-style wines available, but I have no idea how to guess what might be drinkable or not. I think most of the local product is red - I generally prefer lighter red wines such as a pinot noir. What sort of bottles, if any, should I be considering?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha! By coincidence a friend of mine - who used to be BJ manager for Torres China, one of the biggest importers around,has moved to Suzhou as well!

I'm a wine consultant here in China and having written a lot about Chinese wines know a bit whereof I speak. I helped organize a tasting of Chinese wines last year to find some good ones and I'm due in Shandong later this month to judge a Chinese wine competition. But to be honest: DON'T buy Chinese own wines...

(exception: Changyu make a 1.5L sparking cider which is quite fun though a bit plastically).

The only drinkable PN I've had from China is from Mogao winery - but it will be impossible to source in Suzhou. And the good Chinese wines (Grace, Silver Heights) that I have had are as expensive as imported wines.

My advice as someone who writes many, many articles about this is to sign up to a service like Yangjiu.com who offer China-wide delivery and some nice wines (even at cheaper prices). To confess, the latter is run by someone that I know who used to work for one of the importers here - he's a nice guy and providing a good service.

Another is to take a quick trip to Shanghai for a bit of wine shopping - I can heartily recommend a few wine shops there. Actually, they can deliver to Suzhou too! There's a brilliant place called Ruby Red which is located in a Bomb shelter - really fun! And Globus have a beautiful series of shops.

The big companies ASC, Summergate, Torres can all deliver to your house as well. Delivery is GREAT in China - Everyone delivers :-)

[warning: self-promo!] If you check out our website, every month we publish at least 5 recommendations for wines available in China and how to buy them - both in our blog and in our magazine articles. And if you need any help, just PM me!

I would NOT ever buy wine from Walmart though....

<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would NOT ever buy wine from Walmart though....

I wasn't that tempted, except for cooking wine! Thanks for this informative reply. I'll be in Shanghai in October, and I'll definitely check out your recommendations. I'll set up some delivery then. I'm not a serious wine drinker - I don't have a cellar or anything - but when I drink wine, I like to have a decent bottle.

There is a certain charm in some Asian wine - when I lived in Vietnam, we used to enjoy a bottle of Vang Da Lat when we had a nice Vietnamese meal. I'd never consider it in the same league as European wine, but it did complement the meal, which, at the end of the day is the goal, I suppose. By the same token, when I visited Beijing, oh-so-briefly a couple of years ago, we went for duck - of course! (Not at Quanjude :biggrin:) We had a local bottle then, too. I can't recall the name, but it was quite light, with a cherry taste that kind of reminded me of Beaujolais. It went well with the duck, and I was quite happy with it.

Do you think domestic wine pairs better with Chinese food than imported wines? And do you think it's worth pairing European/New world wines with Chinese food? The restaurant we went to last night had a selection of Chilean wines with recommendations for their featured dishes - a Pinot Noir with a spicy claypot chicken, if I recall correctly, and a Chardonnay for a rice and pork dish with bitter melon. What's been your experience with this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

rarely! but that didn't stop me from checking them out. oh yes i drank many a bottle of pseudo 'red wine' crisscrossing southern China 3 times in 3 consecutive years. the booze is even worse, which Chinese men prefer to drink with their meals.

i shrieked with delight as i reached Macau. vinhos portugueses every day! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't that tempted, except for cooking wine! Thanks for this informative reply. I'll be in Shanghai in October, and I'll definitely check out your recommendations. I'll set up some delivery then. I'm not a serious wine drinker - I don't have a cellar or anything - but when I drink wine, I like to have a decent bottle.

There is a certain charm in some Asian wine - when I lived in Vietnam, we used to enjoy a bottle of Vang Da Lat when we had a nice Vietnamese meal. I'd never consider it in the same league as European wine, but it did complement the meal, which, at the end of the day is the goal, I suppose. By the same token, when I visited Beijing, oh-so-briefly a couple of years ago, we went for duck - of course! (Not at Quanjude :biggrin:) We had a local bottle then, too. I can't recall the name, but it was quite light, with a cherry taste that kind of reminded me of Beaujolais. It went well with the duck, and I was quite happy with it.

Do you think domestic wine pairs better with Chinese food than imported wines? And do you think it's worth pairing European/New world wines with Chinese food? The restaurant we went to last night had a selection of Chilean wines with recommendations for their featured dishes - a Pinot Noir with a spicy claypot chicken, if I recall correctly, and a Chardonnay for a rice and pork dish with bitter melon. What's been your experience with this?

Tell them I sent you! Discount time :-) actually, if you're in Shanghai anytime from the 7th to 11th, stop by Pudao wine shop - I'll be leading an advanced WSET wine course there :biggrin: Marcus (the manager) has set up tasting stations about the shop for the Decanter Award winning wines - come and taste them with us! :laugh:

I personally don't think that domestic wines pair better with Chinese food at all. To me, they generally pair best with very little - trouble is that they are, for the main, trying to make Bordeaux style wines in a climate that is NOT Bordeaux....yick!

Also, I must add that I think this local wine with local food idea is a load of bollocks put about by (mainly) the French ...I once had the horror of drinking young red bordeaux with raw oysters (in Chateau Lafite of all places) just cause 'they were both local' - well it was a pile of horsemanure, both in the mouth and in theory . :laugh:

Maybe because I'm a half breed myself, but I think that the best combinations are with the best of both worlds.

Last night we had a lovely off-dry New Zealand Pinot Gris with the leftovers from a trip to the Sichuan government canteen. The pickled pepper cuttlefish, huiguorou and huajiao noodles all went very well...or maybe I'm just greedy :raz:

<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Dejah
      Re- thread on "favourite Chinese cookbook": There is much discussion on what is authentic, recipes that are not found in any of today's Chinese cookbooks. Muichoi suggested starting a collection in eGullet. This may be a way for all of us to start actually recording recipes that have been passed down through generations.
      Muichoi requested a recipe for dried bak choi soup. I am sure there are many "recipes" for this favourite. I can recount the different ingredients, but not the amounts - just a bunch of this, a few of those, etc.
      Start your engines, folks, and let's get posting!
    • By aroberts
      I went to chinatown in London today and came back with just a few items.
      A 1Kg packet of frozen mixed seafood.
      A squeezy bottle of hot chilli sauce
      Tin of Wasabi peas
      Bottle of Saki
      What do you always pick up from oriental food shops?
    • By infernooo
      Hi everyone!
      I am looking for recipes that you might consider as "home style" cooking that are common/popular in Shanghai (or around that area). Preferably things you grew up with that may or may not be widely known... I have a friend who was born and raised there and want to surprise them... (so asking them what their favourites or what they grew up eating is a NO-NO - they will see it coming a mile away).
      Any ideas?
      Thanks in advance!
    • By liuzhou
      Congratulations are due to Fuchsia Dunlop, whose "Food of Sichuan" has just been published in a Chinese language version - a rare honour here. I've ordered a couple of copies as gifts for local friends who loved the Engish version, but struggled with some language issues.
       

      《川菜》,
      中信出版社。
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Chinese food must be among the most famous in the world. Yet, at the same time, the most misunderstood.

      I feel sure (hope) that most people here know that American-Chinese cuisine, British-Chinese cuisine, Indian-Chinese cuisine etc are, in huge ways, very different from Chinese-Chinese cuisine and each other. That's not what I want to discuss.

      Yet, every day I still come across utter nonsense on YouTube videos and Facebook about the "real" Chinese cuisine, even from ethnically Chinese people (who have often never been in China). Sorry YouTube "influencers", but sprinkling soy sauce or 5-spice powder on your cornflakes does not make them Chinese!
       
      So what is the "authentic" Chinese food? Well, like any question about China, there are several answers. It is not surprising that a country larger than western Europe should have more than one typical culinary style. Then, we must distinguish between what you may be served in a large hotel dining room, a small local restaurant, a street market stall or in a Chinese family's home.

      That said, in this topic, I want to attempt to debunk some of the more prevalent myths. Not trying to start World War III.

      When I moved to China from the UK 25 years ago, I had my preconceptions. They were all wrong. Sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice was reported to be the second favourite dish in Britain, and had, of course, to be preceded by a plate of prawn/shrimp crackers. All washed down with a lager or three.

      Yet, in that quarter of a century, I've seldom seen a prawn cracker. And egg fried rice is usually eaten as a quick dish on its own, not usually as an accompaniment to main courses. Every menu featured a starter of prawn/shrimp toast which I have never seen in mainland China - just once in Hong Kong.

      But first, one myth needs to be dispelled. The starving Chinese! When I was a child I was encouraged to eat the particularly nasty bits on the plate by being told that the starving Chinese would lap them up. My suggestion that we could post it to them never went down too well. At that time (the late fifties) there was indeed a terrible famine in China (almost entirely manmade (Maomade)).

      When I first arrived in China, it was after having lived in Soviet Russia and I expected to see the same long lines of people queuing up to buy nothing very much in particular. Instead, on my first visit to a market (in Hunan Province), I was confronted with a wider range of vegetables, seafood, meat and assorted unidentified frying objects than I have ever seen anywhere else. And it was so cheap I couldn't convert to UK pounds or any other useful currency.
       
      I'm going to start with some of the simpler issues - later it may get ugly!

      1. Chinese people eat everything with chopsticks.
       

       
      No, they don't! Most things, yes, but spoons are also commonly used in informal situations. I recently had lunch in a university canteen. It has various stations selling different items. I found myself by the fried rice stall and ordered some Yangzhou fried rice. Nearly all the students and faculty sitting near me were having the same.

      I was using my chopsticks to shovel the food in, when I noticed that I was the only one doing so. Everyone else was using spoons. On investigating, I was told that the lunch break is so short at only two-and-a-half hours that everyone wants to eat quickly and rush off for their compulsory siesta.
       
      I've also seen claims that people eat soup with chopsticks. Nonsense. While people use chopsticks to pick out choice morsels from the broth, they will drink the soup by lifting their bowl to their mouths like cups. They ain't dumb!

      Anyway, with that very mild beginning, I'll head off and think which on my long list will be next.

      Thanks to @KennethT for advice re American-Chinese food.
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...